Online Articles

The effects of climate change, including sea level rise and intense heat, threaten to make places like the island nation of Tuvalu uninhabitable within the next several decades.

The United States Needs a Plan for Climate-Driven Migration

January 29, 2021 by Alec Williams Climate change International Oceans Water

By Eleanor Hildebrandt, Staff Contributor

The effects of climate change will make swaths of the planet uninhabitable, displacing millions of people. How can the United States’ legal system facilitate an equitable, humanitarian response to those seeking safe resettlement within its borders?

Extending Tax Credits for Renewable Energy Projects – Is it an effective relief under COVID-19?

January 22, 2021 by Shannon Twiss Energy Renewable Energy

By Farrah Yan, Staff Contributor

COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty to renewable energy projects. Even though the government recently enacted bills to extend renewable energy tax credits, whether this relief will be effective is of a question. As Joe Biden has put great emphasis on funding clean energy projects for his upcoming term, the questions are: what are some effective methods to boost the renewable energy industry? Are these methods viable under COVID-19?

The United States may finally ratify the Kigali Amendment—with potential implementing legislation already underway

January 15, 2021 by Lawrence Corbeille Air Chemicals Climate change

Sara Zaat, Staff Contributor

Hydrofluorocarbons, an alternative to the ozone-depleting substances that damage the Earth’s protective ozone layer, are potent greenhouse gases that exacerbate climate change. These chemicals are scheduled for reduction under international law: the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Will the United States join the majority of U.N. Member States in committing to phasing down its hydrofluorocarbon production and consumption in accordance with international law in a Biden administration?

A group of grape pickers. Photo by Tomas Castelazo, licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en

Workers Among Most Vulnerable to Climate Change

January 12, 2021 by Scott Fletcher Climate change

By Shannon Twiss, Staff Contributor

Policymakers should take a closer look at the way the effects of climate change are taking their toll on our most essential workers in agriculture, manufacturing, and emergency response.

Hand-made sign stating "Lead Keep Out." Photo by Steven Depolo, licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Flint Water Settlement and Implications of the Michigan Supreme Court’s Reaffirmation of State Constitutional Tort Claims

December 1, 2020 by Scott Fletcher State and Local Water

By: Alexander Collingsworth, Staff Contributor

Residents of Flint, Michigan will likely receive some compensation soon for the poisoning of their drinking water. In August, the state of Michigan settled claims against it and Michigan officials, including former Governor Rick Snyder, for $600 million. What are the implications of the Michigan Supreme Court decision that opened the way for this settlement? And how much money are individual residents likely to see?

An oil pump, presumably extracting oil in a parcel of barren land.

Brownfields – Abandonment in Bankruptcy Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic

November 9, 2020 by Lawrence Corbeille

By Shamila Kara, Staff Contributor.

Brownfields are formed when a property’s use or development has been curtailed by the presence of environmental contaminants. There are over 450,000 Brownfields in the United States today and these sites are home to major environmental pollutants. How does bankruptcy contribute to this issue and why should some states and communities be more concerned than others?

coal stacks emitting pollutants into the atmosphere

Reclassification of Major Sources as Area Sources Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act: A Farewell to “Once In, Always In”

November 9, 2020 by Cullen T. Bryant

By: Hunter Johnston, Staff Contributor

On October 1, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized text for a final rule that proposed to change the way facilities that emit hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) are regulated under the Clean Air Act.[i] The rule, titled Reclassification of Major Sources as Area Sources Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act, purports to implement a plain language interpretation of Section 112 of the Clean Air Act.[ii] In practical effect, the final rule provides that a “major source” can reclassify to “area source” status at any time after reducing its actual or potential hazardous air pollutants (HAP) emissions to below the major source threshold of 10 tons per year (tpy) of any single HAP and 25 tpy of any combination of HAPs.[iii] Additionally, the rule amends Clean Air Act requirements regarding compliance dates, notification, and recordkeeping.[iv]